Do you tend to feel paralyzed when you sit down to read the Bible? Sometimes, the Word of God can seem overwhelming. It is, after all, the WORD OF GOD! But our Creator is just as much Holy, awesome, and beyond understandable as He is intimate, near, and relational. The Bible is the best way to discover the incredible nature of our Great God!
I featured a lot of helpful resources in the “for beginners” post. Here are some more simple ways to get going, or keep going, when you feel overwhelmed or stuck:
1. Just start reading: Prayerfully pick a passage in God’s Word. Maybe you want to start from the beginning. Or pick a book of the Bible you’ve never read. Or read the book your pastor has been preaching from on Sunday mornings.
Eventually, though, we all run into tough spots. For instance, when you come across a verse about genealogies or rules for washing hands, its tempting to walk away the Bible. We don’t have to though…
2. Keep going! Don’t chase after a different passage cause this one is boring. Difficult passages can strengthen faith, if we can stick with them. Open up a commentary that will explain the verse. Ask a friend or pastor to unpack the passages that confuse or even offend you.
Another fun tip: While reading through genealogies, listen to an audio Bible in the same version. Reading the names as you listen to them pronounced keeps your eyes from skipping ahead.
3. Add structure. Use this helpful exercise as you read through a section or chapter of the Bible:
- Choose a passage. I recommend reading a whole “thought.” Often this is shorter than a chapter, or the though starts mid-chapter and finishes in the next one. Make sure you aren’t just reading what the chapter and verse numbers dictate. Try to notice where the author’s thought is going.
- Read the passage quietly once. Then listen to the passage again. Use your audio Bible app or ask someone else to read it aloud.
- Restate/summarize the passage in your own words, either out loud or on paper.
- Answer the following questions:
- What does this passage teach me about God?
- If this passage is true, how am I to obey? What do I do about it?
- With whom am I going to share what I just learned? (Prayerfully choose someone specific. Share while it is still fresh in your mind and heart.)
(Thanks to Eric Asp from H20 church at Kent State for introducing this simple way to unpack a passage)
Still not “getting there?” If you still feel stuck, perhaps you are struggling with a different issue. Press the “Follow” button to get updates on more topics for a struggling Bible studier, like the Bible Study Struggle.